Puppy Training Hints

By LReynolds


Puppy training strategies are often absolute: use treats; never use treats; reward good behavior only; punish bad behavior. Proponents of each theory are often absolute about its effectiveness. Whatever system you use, be consistent.
Consistency and positive reinforcement equal successful socialization.

Puppies Are Babies

There can be no more understanding creature than a well-trained, effectively socialized family dog. Imagine human babies given to a group of dogs to raise: Romulus, Remus and Mowgli aside, several historical feral children have provided evidence (see Reference 1) that a baby socialized by another species will assume that species' behaviors. If we expect dogs to adopt our ground rules at a tender age, keep in mind that they require the same patience and love as any baby. They are puzzled and often frightened by our expressions of frustration when we try to force them to do what we want them to do. Given enough time, they'd probably pick it up on their own. Training guides the process.
Use puppy's dependent nature to train him.

Training Requires Commitment

New dog owners are advised to sign up for obedience training. This good advice is often essential for the humans as well as the dog. Local humane societies, technical colleges and vets frequently offer low-cost courses. Visit courses and decide what kind of training you can discipline yourself to apply consistently. Find courses that have "students" that resemble "Baby" in size and abilities---expecting a Great Dane to perform agility exercises with a class full of Shar-Peis and Chihuahuas is unfair. Find out how soon Baby should be enrolled (trainers usually want housebroken dogs old enough to concentrate for three "reps" of a behavior) and sign him up. Whatever training you choose, repeat lessons on at least a daily basis, doing three repetitions of each behavior before reward, praise or play. If you have a serious attitude about training, Baby will follow your lead.
An easy-to-manage puppy can grow into a stubborn giant.

Babies Make Mistakes

Babies come with two handicaps: They have remarkably short attention spans and little retentive ability. Both develop with age. When Baby "arrives," design for success. Take him to his toileting location after eating and awakening and watch for the signs at other times that he needs to "go." If you ignore him, he'll start to have accidents. All he's ever known is that Mom takes care of it and you need to help him learn new behavior. Remember that dogs are pack animals and that you're the top dog; don't put Baby out of sync with his place in the pack---like in your bed or standing over you. Although an older dog might adapt, Baby will be confused. Use his name without adding diminutives or "pet" names. He needs to learn his name in order to respond properly; he'll know how you feel about him by your tone of voice, not what you call him.

Punishment is an extreme response---use only gentle verbal expressions of disappointment at the moment of the incident to avoid confusion. Concentrate on providing loving praise for jobs well done and Baby will respond with enthusiasm and repeated success.
A well-socialized pup grows into a reliable family member.
Comments (10)
8315653 Jul 23, 2009

ttboy12 Dec 31, 2009
The first picture is cute. Pretty helpful.

VirgniaKaydrilla Jan 8, 2010
these R very helful!! thanks!!

mainak Aug 12, 2010
Nice, useful tips. In my opinion, the most scarce element in...

annsyusuke Sep 16, 2010
i`ve just learned new things about how to train puppies! ooh, the...

annsyusuke Sep 25, 2010
this page was awesome! the dog with the baby was really cute! im sure...

1998 Oct 2, 2010
the puppys in the second picture are sooo cute

sander87 Nov 3, 2010
Nice Post!

Shai Feb 23, 2011
i think i made bad by not following a routine. at nine weeks is it...

Alex Lanni Mar 23, 2011
These are surely good points to be taken often ignored, thanks for...

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